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WHO’s Responsible for This Mess?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is blaming President Trump for “delays” confronting the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S.  

Do you know what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was doing on February 24, nearly two months after China admitted it had a crisis in late December?


She was on TV, touring San Francisco’s Chinatown, urging people to congregate and patronize local businesses.  This was more than three weeks after President Trump issued travel restrictions on Chinese visitors on January 31.

Strolling the district with a friendly mob pressing in, Mrs. Pelosi said, “It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time, to be able to be unified with our community. … We want to be careful about how we deal with it, but we do want to say to people ‘Come to Chinatown, here we are — we're, again, careful, safe — and come join us.'”

Not a mask or gloves insight. 

Well, why should she have bothered with those? The World Health Organization (WHO) had consistently peddled the Chinese Communist Party’s lies about no “human-to-human” transmission. 

As early as Jan. 6, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield offered to send China a team specializing in infectious diseases, but they refused it.

On Jan. 17, the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection ordered entry screening for symptoms of the virus at three major U.S. airports: San Francisco, New York (JFK), and Los Angeles.

On January 23, WHO reassured everyone that it was not a global health emergency. But a mere week later, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In his statement, he gushed all over China.


“The speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words,” he said. “So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries.

“In many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response. It’s not an exaggeration.”

You got that right. China lied about the virus for weeks, allowing international travel at the same time it shut down internal travel to and from Wuhan.  In other words, they blithely or deliberately allowed millions of travelers to carry the virus to other countries, creating a worldwide contagion. 

For weeks, the WHO spouted Chinese communist propaganda until finally labeling the crisis a “pandemic” on March 11. 

Meanwhile, China scoured the world by buying medical supplies so they could act the role of the white knight, rescuing the world. They also issued propaganda blaming the U.S. military for the outbreak. 

But to Democrats and their media, President Trump is the one singularly responsible for the whole thing for “ignoring” the medical experts.

That would be news to the most prominent expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was himself a victim of misinformation from China and the WHO. 


“This is not a major threat for the people in the United States,” Dr. Fauci told Newsmax on Jan. 21, “and this is not something the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”  

No wonder President Trump on Jan. 24 praised the Chinese for “their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well.”   

A week later, to Democrats’ cries of “racism” and “xenophobia,” Mr. Trump issued more stringent travel restrictions, making the U.S. one of the first nations to do so. 

As the crisis deepened, the media grew more hysterical.  In a front-page lead article on April 5 headlined, “70 days of denial, delays, and dysfunction,” the Washington Post excoriated Mr. Trump.  They compared his “failure” to “the period leading up to 9/11: Warnings were sounded, including at the highest levels of government, but the president was deaf to them until the enemy had already struck.”   

Two things of note: While trashing Mr. Trump, the Post actually took the opportunity to blame President Bush for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.  Bill Clinton let Osama bin Laden go when we had him cornered, but never mind.  

And, in an outburst of honesty, the Post referred to the 911 Islamist hijackers as “the enemy.” In today’s daily coverage of the latest Islamist atrocity, you have to plow through tons of verbiage about nondescript “militants” or “insurgents.”  


But I digress. Let’s get back to the WHO and what should be done about it. President Trump has suspended U.S. funding to a corrupt entity caught toadying to Communist China. 

Democrats and leftists worldwide are furious. Nancy Pelosi, who has already ordered up more impeachment-seeking investigations featuring TV hound Adam Schiff, is threatening to sue or perhaps drag Mr. Trump along on her next tour of Chinatown – without a mask.  

She says we need a “coordinated international response with respect for science and data.”

This is exactly why Mr. Trump is giving the WHO a lesson in accountability.

Robert Knight is a Townhall contributor. His website is

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